The relation of body image guilt, shame, behavioral self-blame, and characterological self-blame to depression in children and adolescents
This study examines the relation between adolescent depression, shame/characterological self-blame, and body image. It addresses the question: Do adolescents’ attributions and feelings about their body image make them more prone to depression? We hypothesized that shame and characterological self-blame make adolescents more prone to depression than adolescents engaging in guilt and behavioral self-blame. We also hypothesized that younger children and adolescents would differ in the degree to which shame/characterological self-blame relate to their body images. We are also exploring whether or not there is a gender difference in children engaging in body image shame or characterological self-blame. We evaluated 243 fourth graders and ninth graders concerning their feelings about body image, guilt/shame, behavioral/characterological self-blame, and depression. Body image guilt/shame and BSB/CSB displayed convergent and discriminant validity. Body image shame and CSB predicted depression above and beyond the conventional measures of shame and CSB. The interaction of sex and body image guilt/shame and CSB/BSB measures did not affect depression. There was weak support, however, for a gender effect on levels of body image guilt/shame and body image BSB/CSB. Also, older children had lower scores on some guilt, CSB, and BSB subscales.